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Professor Mari Carmen Portillo PhD, MSc, BSc, RN, FEANS

Professor of Long Term Conditions

Professor Mari Carmen Portillo's photo

Bottom up strategies involving different sectors and levels of care can really empower people to become change agents and manage their long term condition

Mari Carmen Portillo joined the University of Southampton in 2015 and is Professor of Long Term Conditions within Health Sciences. Before this, she was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Nursing of the University of Navarra in Spain where she undertook teaching, research and managerial roles for 17 years. Mari Carmen did her postgraduate studies, MSc Nursing (2000) and PhD (2006) at King’s College London.

Mari Carmen has wide teaching experience and also in developing nursing curricula, teaching and research programmes in relation to long term conditions, Adult Nursing and Advanced Nursing roles at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Mari Carmen has led international multidisciplinary research groups in the area of Long Term Conditions for more than 10 years. With a sound mixed methods and complex interventions profile, her research mainly focuses on long term conditions management in the community and she has especially worked on strategies to improve adjustment and quality of life not only for patients but also for family-carers. She also has wide experience in the active involvement of voluntary organisations in research teams and in negotiating and promoting their active participation in the management of long term conditions in the community.

At present, Mari Carmen is coordinating the Optim Park Project, a European project funded by the JPND (European Commission), which aims to enhance the process of living with Parkinson’s disease through multisectoral interventions and care pathways. The Optim Park project has a special focus on how to optimize the use of resources and systems of support in the community in disadvantaged populations of different European countries. Furthermore, Mari Carmen is the lead of the Long Term Conditions programme of the Wessex Applied Research Collaboration funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Research interests

Living with Long term conditions, voluntary organisations role in self-management of long term conditions, colaboration between sectors and levels of care.

Research Projects

Long Term Conditions: integrating person centred approaches to optimise healthy living. National Institute for Health Research. Wessex Applied Research (Director: Prof Alison Richardson). 2019-2024. Long Term Conditions theme lead. Amount: £9,000,000.

OPTIM-PARK. Optimization of community resources and systems of support to enhance the process of living with Parkinson's Disease: a multisectoral intervention. European Commission: Health and Social Care of the EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative disease research. 2019-2020. Coordinator. Amount: 975,169 Euro.
Validation of the living with chronic illness scale in an English speaking population with LTC. Applied Research Collaboration. NIHR. 2019-2021. Principal Investigator. Amount: £74,467.84.

Using the Wessex Activation and Self-Management (WASP) Tool to design and implement system wide improvements in self-management support for people with long-term conditions. Applied Research Collaboration. NIHR. 2019-2021. Principal Investigator: £220,500.

EUWISE: Self-care Support for People with Long Term Conditions, Diabetes and Heart Disease: A Whole System Approach. Seventh Framework programme. European Commission. 2012-2015. Country Lead Amount: 2.940.000 Euro.

The Project About Loneliness and Social networks (PALS) study. National Institute for Health Research. Public Health. 2018-2021. Co-applicant. Amount:£976,212.56.
Escala de Convivencia con un Proceso Crónico: estudio de validación y factores asociados. Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Spain. International Collaborator. 2018-2020. Amount: 36,310 Euro.

Research group

Long-Term Conditions

Research theme(s)

Health Needs

Active Living


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Book Chapters



Lead Complex Care Module
Professor Mari Carmen Portillo
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 67/3011

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